Volumes for Services

By February 15, 2018Docker Volumes

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Volumes for Services

Docker Swarm is the cluster management component embedded in the Docker Engine. A swarm cluster consists of multiple hosts which run as manager or worker nodes. Containers run as a service within a swarm cluster and it is the role of the manager to maintain the desired state of the service. When a service is created the desired state can be defined in terms of the number of replicas, ports the service exposes, and network or storage resources allocated to the service.

CIO provides a data management platform for a swarm cluster so persistent storage can be programmatically provisioned and managed for stateful applications.

When a service is rescheduled by docker to a different node, the CIO volume plugin moves the volume to the new node where the service is restarting. More importantly when a node fails and Docker Swarm restarts services on new nodes, the CIO storage orchestrator fails over the correct volumes to keep the stateful services running. This greatly simplifies the operational burden of ensuring high availability for stateful services and applications.


To start a service you use the docker service create command. A persistent volume for the service can be specified by using the --mount flag. If the volume does not already exist, Docker creates the volume.

Note: that the docker service create command does not support the -v or --volume flag. To mount a volume into a service’s container, you must use the --mount flag.

You specify a CIO volume in a docker service create command by using the volume-driver option to call the cio driver and the volume-opt option to set volume options. For example

docker service create \
--mount source=mysql-data,target=/var/lib/mysql,volume-driver=cio,volume-opt=profile=MYSQL \
--replicas 1 \
--detach=false \
--name mysql \

This creates a volume named mysql-data with volume options set in profile MYSQL for a MySQL database running as a service. The replicas value is set to 1 as schedulers do not have a naming convention for scaling persistent volumes with services.

While the example above uses a profile to set multiple volume options, volume options can also be individually set. Use comma separated key-value pairs to set multiple volume options.

The following options are supported by the CIO volume plugin:

capacity Size in GB 1 to 64000 capacity=25
directory Host path to bind mount /path/to/volume directory=/cio
level Level of data redundancy 1, 2, 3 level=2
type Type of backend storage ssd, hdd type=ssd
iops Performance in min/max IOPS 30 min, 1000000 max iops=100,5000
bandwidth Performance in min/max MB/s thin, thick provision=thick
provision Thick or thin provisioning thin, thick provision=thick
profile Template for volume creation profile name profile=MYSQL


Use docker service inspect mysql to verify that the volume above was created and mounted correctly. Look for the Mounts section.

"Mounts": [
        "Type": "volume",
        "Source": "mysql-data",
        "Target": "/var/lib/mysql",
        "VolumeOptions": {
            "DriverConfig": {
                "Name": "cio",
                "Options": {
                    "profile": "MYSQL"

This shows that the mount is a volume, with the source (volume name mysql-data) mounted in the container at directory /var/lib/mysql. The driver configuration section shows that profile MYSQL was used to set the volume options.


To remove the volume, first remove the service.

$ docker service rm mysql

$ docker volume rm mysql

docker volume create

You can create and manage volumes separate from a service with the docker volume create command. The --driver flag is used to call the cio volume plugin and volume options are passed to the driver using the -o or --opt flag. For example

docker volume create --driver cio 
--name mysqldb \
--opt size=50 \
--opt type=ssd \
--opt iops=1000,2000 \
--label version=3.3 --label release=stable

The volume created as mysqldb can now be passed to the docker service create command in the source field. Example

docker service create \
--mount source=mysqldb,target=/var/lib/mysql,volume-driver=cio \
--replicas 1 \
--name mysql \

Explore Further

Docker Storage

Volumes for Containers
Volumes for Docker Compose
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